Embracing the World of Digital Research

Wednesday, the 17th of April, saw us welcoming 7 of our clients to our fourth “Embracing the World of Digital Research” workshop – an informal and exciting opportunity to hear and learn from our clients. Clients from different industry sectors came together to discuss the importance of digital tools in answering key research questions, to learn from one another and share their experiences around the use of innovative digital techniques.

For some the day was a good way to take time out of their normal everyday roles to get an overview of new techniques available to them and how or if these should / could be used to answer some of the difficult questions they face.

“Lots of interesting digital research methods to think about – also understand how they can be specifically applied to different industries” Sana Hai, JTI

The day was structured around 5 key digital areas: online qualitative research, social media & communities, mobilising research, eye tracking and other passive measurement techniques and neuroscience. Although most of the clients had heard of at least some of these techniques, it was felt that the session provided clarity on some techniques that have come to be used as jargon within research circles.

Some of the key themes that came out of this session include:

1) The role of research agencies and how this is changing in a world rich in information?

What is the key role that researchers should embrace – is it that of Social Media Maven, the Data Synthesizer, a Marketing Strategist or a Business Consultant? The discussion focussed on the relationship between the research agency and the client. Some would like more strategic insight to be provided whilst others would like the data synthesised but maintain control over strategy. At Marketing Sciences we see the value in being competent across this spectrum and adapting to the needs of the research problem under investigation. At the end of the day we love working in partnership with our clients to really understand their business objectives and the reasons for undertaking a piece of research.

2) Where does one draw the line between online bulletin boards and communities?

‘Socialised’ forms of research, such as online bulletin boards and communities, lie along a spectrum based on both length of time that they run for and the level of control which you want to maintain over what topics are discussed and the overall flow of interaction. However, this line can become blurred and it’s essential that as researchers we understand the objectives and requirements of the research so that the best approach can be determined in partnership with the client. Marketing Sciences have recently run a self-funded community in which we invited savvy shoppers to share their views and experiences. Make sure that you follow us on Twitter for some exciting findings from our Savvy Shopper Community!

3) Another topic that lent itself to some interesting discussions was around regulations and the potential of using geo-fencing to capture consumers in the ‘moment of truth’. While geo-fencing provides the opportunity to know that those completing surveys have visited your store/event/etc there were some concerns over who and how this would be regulated, what data would be captured and how this would perceived by customers – would they embrace this methodology or feel that this is one step too far? This again highlights the importance of having clear objectives and not using innovative techniques for innovative techniques sake. Instead it is essential to find the best solution that both the client and their consumers would be happy engaging with.

These workshops have proven to be food for thought not only for clients but also for us in understanding how best to deliver true insight and actionable research.

But don’t take our word for it – read what some of the attendees had to say about the day.

“There is an awful lot we could be using” David Brewerton, Tesco Mobile

“I’ve been able to take learnings from each of the sessions that I can talk through with colleagues. In particular how we can use social media for research purposes… brilliant session”

“Some exciting, cutting edge examples of innovative research techniques that could mean smarter ways of working and real competitive advantage” Tash Laming, Danone Baby Nutrition  

We’d love to hear your thoughts on these topics and hope to welcome you to our next “Embracing the World of Digital Research” workshop!

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Jackie Chaldecott
01962 842211
Article date - 01/05/2013
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